Contact: Sarah Nicholas
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Students, faculty and staff in Mississippi State’s Department of Communication and at the university’s student newspaper, The Reflector, won several journalism awards at multiple competitions earlier this semester.
At the 22nd annual O.C. McDavid Journalism Summit, a one-day workshop at the Mississippi Press Association Mid-Winter Conference in Jackson, student staff members of The Reflector won seven first place, six second place and 10 third place awards. The awards are part of the Better Newspaper Contest, the student competition of the MPA Education Foundation.
Participation in the MPA journalism summit gives college and university students the opportunity to interact with Mississippi journalists, educators and artists, and culminates in the presentation of the student awards.
MSU’s Better Newspaper Contest winners include (by hometown):
ATLANTA, Georgia—Mary Georgia Hamilton, junior finance major and The Reflector photography editor; first and second place, Sports Photo; second place, General News Photo; and second place, Feature Photo.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—Kathryn E. “Kat” Beatty, sophomore marketing major; third place, Spot News Photo; and Jordan M. Smith, sophomore communication major; second place, Spot News Photo; and third place, General News Photo.
BRANDON—Riley J. Stephens, junior English major; third place, General Interest Column.
CLEVELAND—Mary Madeline LaMastus, senior psychology major; third place for both Best Feature Story and Use of Video.
GULFPORT—Brandon A. Grisham, junior business information systems major and The Reflector online editor; first place for both Website and Use of Social Media.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama—Hannah R. Blankenship, junior communication major and The Reflector news editor; first place for both General News Story and Best Front Page.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee—Dylan C. Bufkin, junior English major and The Reflector opinion editor; first place, General Interest Column.
PENSACOLA, Florida—Mia Rodriguez, senior English major and The Reflector editor-in-chief; second place, General Interest Column.
SPRINGDALE, Arkansas—Hunter J. Cloud, junior communication major; third place, Sports Feature.
STARKVILLE—Garrett C. Smith, junior political science major; third place in both Best Sports News Story and Best Sports Column.
TCHULA—Rosalind G. Hutton, senior graphic design major and The Reflector graphics editor; first place, Best Cartoon; and third place, Graphic.
The Reflector won second place in the General Excellence category and third place in the Best Design category at the MPA conference.
At the 57th annual conference of the National Electronic Media Association in Los Angeles, California, the organization’s National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition awarded The Reflector—under Grisham’s leadership—with first place in the Website category. Additionally, LaMastus won first place in the Web News Article category for “Bob Swanson: Instructor and ‘Singing Weatherman’.”
“I just feel extremely proud of everything we’ve accomplished,” Rodriguez said. “It gives me a sense of pride just knowing what I’ve done for the paper is paying off.”
“It’s very validating,” Blankenship added. “It’s nice to be recognized for your hard work.”
At the Southeast Journalism Conference, hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MSU students won 16 awards in the competition that honors the region’s best in broadcast, print and online journalism.
The honors received by MSU students at the SEJC Best of the South Collegiate Journalism Competition represent the university’s third highest total in the last 20 years and the most since 2005.
“These phenomenal students have had a stellar year,” said Terry Likes, MSU communication professor and department head. “It is nice to see their hard work paying off with this kind of recognition. I’d also like to commend the faculty, and those who oversee campus media—The Reflector, WMSV, Take 30 News, PRISM—for their hard work in preparing our students for excellence.”
Two MSU communication instructors also were honored at the SEJC. They include Jason Hibbs, Take 30 News adviser, first place for Best Video News Program; and Josh Foreman, The Reflector adviser, second place for Best College Website.
SEJC student award recipients include (by hometown):
ATLANTA, Georgia—Mary Georgia Hamilton, junior finance major and The Reflector photography editor; first place, Best Press Photographer.
BRANDON—John M. Lee, senior communication major; second place, Best Radio Journalist.
BROOKHAVEN—Gracie E. Byrne, senior communication major; fourth place, Best College Magazine Writer.
CORINTH—T. Bronson Woodruff, senior communication major; third place, Best Radio Hard News Reporter.
FRANKLIN, Tennessee—Katherine N. “Katie” Kronk, junior marketing major; third place, Best Advertising Staff Member.
LUCEDALE—Courtney R. Carver, senior communication major; fifth place, Best News Writer.
PENSACOLA, Florida—Mia Rodriguez, senior English major and The Reflector editor-in-chief; fourth place, College Journalist of the Year.
SPRINGDALE, Arkansas—Hunter J. Cloud, junior communication major; sixth place, Best Sports Writer.
TCHULA—Rosalind G. Hutton, senior graphic design major and The Reflector graphics editor; first place, Best News Graphic Designer; and third place, Best News Editorial Artist.
VICKSBURG—Anne Elizabeth Buys, spring 2019 summa cum laude communication/broadcasting graduate; second place, Best Television Hard News Reporter.
The SEJC also held an on-site competition. MSU student winners include (by hometown):
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama—Hannah R. Blankenship, junior communication major and The Reflector news editor; second place, Design/Page Layout.
MERIDIAN—Ella L. Schalski, senior English and foreign language/German double-major; first place, Current Events.
PHILADELPHIA—Amelia R. Henson, senior communication major; first place, Public Relations Campaign, along with Parker M. Lee and Marisa G. Laudadio.
SOUTHHAVEN—Parker M. Lee, senior communication major; first place, Public Relations Campaign, along with Amelia R. Henson and Marisa G. Laudadio.
WALNUT—Marisa G. Laudadio, senior political science/pre-law and communication/public relations double-major; first place, Public Relations Campaign, along with Amelia R. Henson and Parker M. Lee.
MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 325 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs, 14 master’s programs, and 27 undergraduate academic majors offered in 14 departments. It also is home to the most diverse units for research and scholarly activities, including natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. For more details about the College of Arts and Sciences or the Department of Communication, visit www.cas.msstate.edu or www.comm.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.